Public safety need leads to freeze exemption at sheriff's office

The Bellingham Business Journal

Sheriff Bill Elfo recently announced the promotion of two long-time members of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. Sergeant Kevin Hester was promoted to patrol lieutenant and Deputy Bethany Larson was promoted to patrol sergeant.

The patrol lieutenant’s position was frozen due to falling county revenue that lead to a $340,000 county budget reduction, $56,000 of which was absorbed by the sheriff’s office. County Executive Pete Kremen exempted the patrol lieutenant position from the freeze, however, after reviewing the critical nature of the position and emerging trends in the community.

“The sheriff’s office is challenged to fulfill its responsibility of protecting the community in light of escalating violence and diminishing resources resulting from economic conditions,” Kremen said in a press release.

Hester began his career with the sheriff’s office in 1990 and has served in a variety of patrol and investigative assignments. He formerly commanded the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force.

Larson began her career with the sheriff’s office in 1995 and has severed as a patrol deputy and detective. Larson is the first female deputy to advance to the rank of sergeant in the sheriff’s office Bureau of Law Enforcement and Investigative Services.

Both Hester and Larson have received numerous commendations and have consistently excelled in the performance of their duties.

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